Sept. 9, 2009 — This year’s Homecoming Week at the U kicks off with a large-scale
service event honoring the “patriarch of Utah volunteerism,” Lowell L.
The Lowell Bennion Community Service Center, invites volunteers to celebrate Bennion’s legacy the way he would want-with service.
The sixth annual Legacy of Lowell Community Service Day will take place Saturday, Sept. 19 from 8 a.m. to noon at Parkview Elementary, 970 S. Emery (1170 West). The event is free and open to the public and larger than ever, with eight different service projects.
Volunteers will meet at Parkview Elementary and be transported to one of eight service sites throughout the community where they will assist in literacy tutoring, home repair projects for seniors, refugee site visits, environmental restoration, food box sorting and delivery or assembling dental kits. The event will include breakfast and will be followed by a luncheon at Parkview Elementary (see below for a complete list of service locations).
“As the kick-off event for Homecoming 2009, the Legacy of Lowell Annual Service Project promises to unite students, faculty, staff and neighbors from all parts of the community to come together and address some of the most pressing needs,” said Linda Dunn, Bennion Center director. “Projects addressing education, environment, social justice and health issues will be offered, while bringing community members together. There is nothing more needed in our society today than the collaborative spirit that comes when community members join together to make a difference with their individual efforts.”
Bennion enjoyed a long and notable history with the U. He taught in the sociology department, directed the LDS Institute of Religion and was associate dean of students. At age 64, he retired from academia. In 1977, while serving as director of the Community Services Council, he founded the Utah Food Bank.
His service on various community boards was instrumental in charting the direction of many state and private agencies. He received numerous awards and honors throughout his life, including, in 1989, being named as one of 100 “Most Caring People in America,” by the Caring Institute, in Washington, D.C.
Those who knew Bennion were well aware of his service to the community-and his penchant for mobilizing them to assist in philanthropic projects, which included visiting widows, supporting social justice issues, working with students and gathering and delivering food to the hungry.
The annual event in his honor was created to educate students about his commitment to service and to energize students, alumni and the public to carry on the work of the Bennion Center through community service. The eight service sites were selected to capture the range of service to which Lowell L. Bennion was dedicated:
Land Restoration at Bend-in-the-River: Help with land restoration, weed removal, fall clean-up and planting at the urban greenspace.
Dental Hygiene Kit Creation: Assemble dental kits for the Sorenson Center’s donated dental clinic.
Food Box Delivery to Seniors with the Utah Food Bank: Deliver food boxes to senior citizens all over the valley.
Food Sorting at the Utah Food Bank: Sort food to be distributed by the Utah Food Bank to families across the Wasatch Front.
Refugee Sites Visits with the International Rescue Committee: Visit with refugee families with the opportunity of making lasting bonds.